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Human Ecologist

Human ecologists help people enhance their well-being and quality of life at home, at work and in the community. They provide advisory, counselling, management, research and education services related to family functioning, parenting, consumer issues, money management, textiles and clothing, and community resources.

Also Known As

Home Economist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Home Economists (4164.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Social Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers (E034) 
  • 2011 NOC: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers (4164) 
  • 2016 NOC: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers (4164) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Home Economists

2006 NOC: 4164.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in co-ordinating information to conduct research on the development of new products, to discover facts on food and nutrition, and to test the uses of new products and materials


Interest in consulting to advise consumers on the selection and proper use of food products, textiles and other consumer goods; may also provide consultative services in the areas of development and promotion of new food products, retail buying, social program administration and small business endeavours


Interest in handling food products, textiles and other consumer goods for research and demonstration purposes

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Updated Mar 31, 2019

Human ecologists are multidisciplinary specialists. They combine and apply several fields of study to provide services to children, youth, and families. They use a holistic, preventative approach to help people manage their daily lives for the best possible outcomes.

To do this, they apply skills in communication, creative problem solving, research, and critical analysis on a wide range of topics. These include:

  • Parenting and intimate relationships
  • Financial management
  • Consumer education
  • Community development
  • Family challenges
  • Meal planning, food preparation and food choices
  • Small business development and entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability within the fashion industry
  • Fashion supply chain management
  • Comfort and safety of protective clothing
  • Design of clothing and home environments for persons with disabilities

Human ecologists may:

  • Provide leadership for organizational and community development as well as program planning and evaluation
  • Serve as consultants, designers, managers or quality controllers to organizations that provide services to individuals and families
  • Provide human resources and consumer or public relations services
  • Advise and coach individuals on career development, retirement planning or personal style
  • Research the impact of public policy on children, seniors and families
  • Research and evaluate the impact of public policy in the fields of gender, health, aging and disability
  • Work with community agencies to coordinate volunteers
  • Serve community agencies as financial counsellors, family outreach workers, life skills facilitators, rehabilitation workers or consumer advocates
  • Specialize in fashion merchandising, fashion sustainability, protective clothing design or apparel design or production
  • Offer expertise in interior decorating, textile science, innovative protective materials or quality control
  • Work as public school teachers, college or university instructors, education consultants, curriculum and program developers or adult educators
  • Work in government as researchers, health educators, information specialists or product developers
  • Offer services to government in policy development, advocacy or marketing
  • Work as museum collections researchers, curators or technicians
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Human ecologists work with the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in a wide range of office and field settings. Some apply their skills in corporate and government office environments. Others work in manufacturing plants, retail stores, small businesses, or social service agencies. Depending on the nature of their job, they may work evenings and weekends. Some jobs may require travel.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Human ecologists need:

  • Adaptability and creativity
  • Management, organizational and leadership skills
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Interpersonal and relationship-building skills
  • A team-oriented, collaborative approach

They should enjoy:

  • Coordinating and synthesizing information
  • Developing innovative approaches to problems
  • Working with clients and customers

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers

2011 NOC: 4164

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 29 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 18, 2021 and Sep 29, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Excellent written communication
Personal Suitability: Organized
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Perform administrative tasks
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Personal Suitability: Accurate
Conduct research
Personal Suitability: Dependability
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

The minimum educational requirement is a 4-year bachelor of science (B.Sc.) degree in home economics, human ecology, family and consumer sciences, nutrition and food sciences, textiles and clothing, or equivalent.

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

University of Alberta

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Human Ecologist/Home Economist

Human ecologists and home economists develop, interpret, integrate and apply the principles of human ecology and home economics to enhance the quality of life of individuals and families. This includes advising individuals, families, organizations and communities, disseminating information, conducting research and planning, and conducting and evaluating related educational programs.


Professional Human Ecologist and Professional Home Economist are protected titles under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act and Human Ecologist and Home Economist Regulation. This means that to call yourself a Professional Human Ecologist or Professional Home Economist, you must be a registered member of the Alberta Human Ecology and Home Economics Association (AHEA). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Professional Human Ecologist or Professional Home Economist.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Human Ecologist/Home Economist.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Human ecologists may be employed by or work on a contract basis for:

  • Consulting firms
  • Government
  • Utility companies
  • Food commodity organizations
  • Home decorating firms
  • Apparel and fashion manufacturers or retailers
  • Not-for-profit social service agencies
  • International aid and development agencies
  • School boards
  • Small businesses

They may move into a wide range of occupations. For example, with additional education a human ecologist may advise on nutrition as a dietitian in a hospital or food service institution. A human ecologist who prefers teaching can share their knowledge with students as a secondary school teacher or college, technical or vocational instructor.

Research positions generally require a post-graduate (master’s or doctoral) degree. Examples include policy analyst within the government sector or conservator or curator in the museum sector. For more examples, see Related Occupations.

Human ecologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook (pdf) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • Size of the occupation

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 77 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook


Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers

2016 NOC: 4164
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 4164 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $23.08 $43.90 $34.75 $36.05
Overall $26.10 $54.40 $41.66 $41.29
Top $30.77 $62.20 $44.15 $47.04

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Educational Services
Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Alberta Human Ecology and Home Economics Association (AHEA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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